11 Weird Symptoms Of Acid Reflux & How To Fix The Problem

If you’ve ever partaken in late night pizza, only to lie in bed afterwards cursing your decision, then you probably know a thing or two about acid reflux. This is the oh-so-common feeling of heartburn and indigestion, and it’s pretty darn easy to recognize. Sometimes, however, there are weird symptoms of acid reflux that aren’t so obvious. They can leave you suffering, and questioning, for days.

Eating late at night, heavy meals, too much alcohol, smoking, and eating acidic foods can all trigger these symptoms, according to Cederquist. If you’re having a problem with heartburn, it’s best to lay off these things for a while. And you should also be on the lookout for lesser known symptoms of acid reflux, so you don’t go on suffering needlessly. Below are some of the weirder signs of heartburn.

1. A Scratchy Throat

2. A Bad Taste In Your Mouth

All of that acid coming up can also create a bad taste in your mouth, according to Amanda Gardner on Health. People often describe the taste as bitter or acidic. 

3. A Nagging, Dry Cough

Have you been coughing up your lungs as of late? That aforementioned irritation, caused by the acid in your throat and lungs, can lead to a dry, nagging cough, according to Cederquist. It’s definitely something to watch out for.

Sometimes heartburn can make it difficult to lie down without feeling like your chest is on fire. This is due to stomach acid escaping your stomach, and flowing the wrong way into your esophagus. “That’s why people with chronic heartburn raise the head of their bed, and why they shouldn’t eat big meals right before bedtime,” Gardner said.

Next Page

Celiac Disease Vaccine Now Under Trial Could Allow People to Eat Gluten Again

A new vaccine intended to help people with celiac disease is now undergoing testing, and could enable sufferers to consume gluten again.

Celiac disease sufferers may soon be able to safely eat gluten, thanks to a new vaccine currently undergoing testing worldwide.

The vaccine, called Nexvax2, targets the immune system to stop the inflammation that typically occurs when people with celiac disease consume gluten. It was first tested in 2011, for the initial trial phase, and was found to be safe.

The company that produces Nexvax2, the Massachusetts-based ImmusanT, received $40 million in funding in 2017, allowing them to continue researching the vaccine. The second round of testing will start in Melbourne, before going out to other cities in Australia. ImmusanT hopes to enroll 150 patients from the United States, Australia and New Zealand in the trial.

“The vaccine is designed to target the 90 percent of celiac disease patients with the HLA-DQ2 genetic form of disease,” Dr. Jason Tye-Din, the head of celiac research and gastroenterologist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, where the trial will start, told the Sydney Morning Herald. “A successful therapy that can restore normal gluten tolerance would revolutionize celiac disease management.”

Currently, there is no treatment for celiac disease — the only option is to cut out gluten entirely. While going gluten-free became trendy among health-conscious people in the last decade, for celiac disease sufferers the protein poses a severe risk to their small intestine, and causes diarrhea, abdominal pain and vomiting.

Nexvax2 won’t immediately enable people with celiac to eat gluten again — rather, the vaccine will slowly build up an immunity to the proteins in gluten and end the negative side effects.

“Through this study we anticipate making new insights that will further our ability to demonstrate specific suppression of the immune response to gluten epitopes and associated effects of celiac disease,”Dr. Ken Truitt, ImmusanT chief medical officer, told BeyondCeliac.org.

Article source:https://people.com/health/celiac-disease-gluten-free-vaccine-under-trial/

MORE:19 things you’ll only understand if you have coeliac disease

New Research Shows tVNS deactivates Tinnitus related brain regions

From the ear to the brain

Tinnitus is a condition where one hears or perceives a sound without any external sound stimulus, it is commonly experienced as a high pitched ringing or buzzing. As tinnitus is experienced as a phantom sound it was initially thought to arise from the ear, however, recent research has shown that perception and generation are often linked to specific brain regions.

A recent publication in the journal Ear and Hearing suggested that the number of people newly diagnosed with tinnitus had increased between 2002 and 2011 [1], making the search for an effective therapy ever more important. However, the fundamental pathophysiology of the condition is still not fully understood and this has impeded the development of effective treatments.

The new understanding of brain regions involved in Tinnitus

Brain scans through methods such as fMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) have implicated specific brain regions and neural circuitries to be involved in the perception and generation of tinnitus, leading to opportunities for novel therapies targeting these areas. Among these regions are the parahippocampal gyrus (PHG) which has been consistently identified in neuroimaging studies of tinnitus [9-13]. The amygdala and hippocampus (limbic areas of the brain) are thought to contribute to the persistent perception of tinnitus through a specific circuitry with the PHG [14,17]; supporting the theory of a ‘limbic distress network’ which is also consistent with Prof Jastreboff’s model of tinnitus [14–16].

The emergence of a therapy targeting these areas

This new understanding of Tinnitus generation and perception has allowed for a new therapy to emerge which can target these specific areas of the brain to reduce overactivity and break the cycle of the limbic distress network. This therapy utilises the vagus nerve, which passes via the outer ear to the NTS and on to these brain regions. Using a small handheld neurostimulation device and electrode clipped to the outer ear it is possible to target and directly modulate the brain via the vagus nerve. This technological advance has enabled greater research to be conducted in those suffering with Tinnitus, further supporting the development of a novel low risk therapy.

The therapy known as vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) previously received FDA clearance based on its established safety and efficacy, for use in individuals with depression and epilepsy and has now been used by hundreds of thousands of people yet historically limited by the need for surgery to deliver. The development of non-invasive VNS (transcutaneous VNS, tVNS) is safer and now much more accessible as it does not require surgery and can be used remotely.

Clinical Research in tVNS for Tinnitus

In a recent study [2], 36 people with chronic tinnitus lasting 3 months or longer were assessed with either active or placebo tVNS treatment. Active treatment used an electrode connected to part of the outer ear which innervates the vagus nerve whereas placebo treatment used a part of the outer ear with no vagal innervation. Brain scans were obtained to provide visual interpretations of the tVNS effects.

Figure 1: Regions coloured red were activated and while those coloured blue were deactivated by tVNS at the tragus. Legend: tVNS, transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation; MCC, middle cingulate cortex; Amyg, amygdala; AnG, angular gyrus; CC, corpus callosum; Hip, hippocampus; STG, superior temporal gyrus; PCu, precuneus; PoG/PrG, postcentral/precentral gyrus; TMP, temporal pole.

Figure 2: Activations (red) and deactivations (blue) induced by tVNS for normal subjects (a) and tinnitus patients (b) after matching the number of functional volumes (p < 0.05, cluster corrected for multiple comparisons).  AnG: angular gyrus; CC: corpus callosum; Hip: hippocampus; MCC/PCC: middle/posterior cingulate cortex; MTG/STG: middle/ superior temporal gyrus; PCu: precuneus; PoG/PrG: postcentral/precentral gyrus; SFG: superior frontal gyrus.

Next Page

7 Fun Activities to Take Your Mind Off Ankylosing Spondylitis Pain

When your back, hips, and other joints hurt, it’s tempting to crawl into bed with a heating pad and avoid doing anything. Yet staying active is important if you want to keep your joints and muscles flexible. Getting out of the house will also help prevent feelings of loneliness and isolation that you may be experiencing.

Here is a list of seven fun things to try if you’re living with ankylosing spondylitis (AS). These activities will not only take your mind off your pain, but they may also help to control it.

1. Go for a walk in the woods

Walking should already be part of your daily routine. It helps loosen tight joints and is low impact enough to prevent you from putting too much strain on them.

Start by walking for 5 or 10 minutes, and gradually increase the amount of time as you feel up to it. Weather permitting, go for a walk outdoors. The fresh air, sunshine, and exposure to plants and trees will give your mood a boost too. Bring a friend — human or canine — along to keep you company.

2. Go snorkeling

Swimming is one of the best exercises you can do when you have arthritis. The water offers resistance that helps strengthen your muscles, yet it’s buoyant and gentle on your joints. Research finds water exercise helps improve pain and quality of life in people with ankylosing spondylitis.

Snorkeling is an especially good water activity for people with this condition. Lifting and turning your head to breathe can be hard on the joints in your neck. The snorkel and mask let you keep your head down in the water and relax your neck. Plus, the mask will give you a window into the colorful aquatic life in your local lake or ocean.

Next Page

10 Natural Remedies to Treat Parkinson’s Disease

Natural Remedies to Treat Parkinson’s Disease include taking fresh, raw fruits and vegetables, detoxifying the body, eating more probiotics, avoiding excessive iron, choosing and eating foods that promote good mood, consuming more vitamin Bs and magnesium, increasing the intake of Omega-3, taking green tea, and limiting the intake of protein.

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s disease is degenerative neurological, a chronic disorder that is characterized by poor balance, muscle stiffness, difficulty walking and frequent tremors. Symptoms have been reported to vary from individual to individual, but with the passage of time, simple tasks like getting dressed on your own become a real challenge. It mostly affects older people and has been diagnosed in more men than women. Environmental as well as genetic factors both have been found to be responsible for the onset and progress of the disease.

It is usually a degenerative disease, and the symptoms are manifested differently in different patients Therefore it cannot be said with certainty that each patient will respond to natural remedies in the same manner.

Some of the early warning signs of Parkinson’s disease include rigidity (stiffness in the body), trembling, a poor posture which is also known as postural instability and bradykinesia (slowness of movement). Some of the patients with Parkinson’s disease pause while walking or completely freeze in their movement. The accompanying symptoms may include constipation and related digestive issues, urinary problems, trouble in usually performing ordinary actions like speaking, eating or walking, depression, fatigue, troubled sleeping pattern, sexual dysfunction, changes in voice and skin related issues.

Some natural remedies and diets have been shown to prove beneficial for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Some studies label the gut as the ‘second brain’ since any improvement or deterioration in the gut health directly affects the condition of overall health, whether mental or physical. The body will heal itself if you choose to treat it with the right diet it deserves. These have been discussed in detail underneath:

1. Intake of Fresh, Raw Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh raw fruits and organic vegetables are widely known to provide all the necessary nutrients that cleanse your body. The nutrients include antioxidants, phytonutrients, enzymes, minerals, vitamins, flavonoids, amino acids, anti-inflammatory properties, and fiber. These nutrients are essential for digesting the food and consuming food void of these nutrients can cause a great deal of digestive and intestinal damage.

2. Detoxify the Body

In an era like ours that involve a wide range of harmful toxins readily available in our environment including herbicides, pesticides, drugs, artificial food additives, and processed sugar, we should avoid deliberately putting harmful toxins through diet. These toxins damage and suffocate our cells. To detoxify, you need a thorough gastrointestinal and liver cleanse before any nutrient can make a difference in your health.

3. Eat more Fermented Foods as Probiotics

Beneficial bacteria are important to increase the level of gut flora that is often less fermented diets cause in our gut. Healthy gums highly important to prevent a host of diseases and disorders. Replenish your gut with beneficial bacteria and see the difference it makes in your overall health. This kind of bacteria can be attained from kombucha tea, kefir, kimchi, fermented soy (tempeh), and sauerkraut. These edibles help the body detoxify heavy metals from it and break down environmental toxins in an efficient manner.

Next Page

8 Foods that Cause Acid Reflux

Acid reflux, or heartburn, is characterized by a considerable burning sensation in the stomach and esophagus region. Extremely bothersome, there is a direct correlation between the foods we put in the body and the experience of acid reflux.

When we eat alot of highly acidic foods, our body starts to become accustomed to this diet. In turn, our stomaches cannot sufficiently process the acid, and this burning liquid moves back up into the throat.

While there are many home remedies for acid reflux, knowing which foods cause acid reflux is your best bet from experiencing it in the first place.

If you frequently get acid reflux, I would recommend you follow a healthy, alkalizing diet. This will help you take great strides in bettering digestive function and reducing the overall symptoms of acid reflux [1], and prevent the uncomfortable feeling from ever starting.

Foods to Avoid if you get Acid Reflux

Below is a list of foods that cause acid reflux. While it may not always be easy, try to avoid these foods when possible.

Fried Potatoe Fries

1. Fried Food

More challenging to digest, fried foods, and foods high in trans-fats, wreak havoc on the digestive tract. These foods are heavy and slow down the overall digestive process, leaving excess acids that can eventually move upward into the esophagus. Fried fats also remain stuck in the digestive process for longer periods of time, and can create increased pressure in the stomach.

2. Processed Baked Goods

Sweets like brownies and cookies create an acidic environment, especially if they are processed baked goods that are full of artificial colors and preservatives. In general, avoid all forms of refined white sugar and enriched flour, as they rank highest on the “acidic” charts.

Cup of Coffee

3. Coffee

While coffee acts as a laxative, more often than not, the high levels of caffeine in coffee lead to an increased secretion of gastric acid in the stomach which may cause acid reflux.

4. Carbonated Drinks

Drinks like soda pop, tonic water and Perrier increase pressure levels in the stomach, which in turn increases the acidic response. As an alternative, try drinking more purified water that’s not too cold. Stay away from acidic fruit juices, like orange juice, especially before going to bed.

5. Hot and Spicy Foods

It may seem obvious, but spicy foods do not help acid reflux. Avoid chili peppers and hot/spicy sauces. When dining out in restaurants that offer Indian or Thai food, ask your waiter for “no-spice.” For many people, the Indian version of “mild” can still wreak havoc on heartburn.

Alcohol

6. Alcohol

Alcohol not only increases gastric acid in your body, but it also dehydrates you and may cause you to wake up in the crucial part of the night when our body detoxes from the previous day. In this sense, drinking alcohol today can set you up for poor digestion or acid reflux tomorrow.

7. Meat

Plain and simple, meat is one of the hardest things for the stomach to digest. In general, meat that is lower in fat (fish, lean chicken, turkey) creates less acid, whereas a thick juicy steak requires more acid in the stomach. Limit meat intake to 2-3x weekly and chew well before swallowing. Better yet, eliminate as much meat from your diet, and eat plenty of raw fruits and veggies.

Dairy Products

8. Dairy

While a cup of cold, creamy milk may provide some temporary relieve to acid reflux symptoms, you may be better off reaching for a glass of water. Milkcreates excessive secretion of acid, especially if we drink it when the stomach is full, which will only make matters worse.

Other Ways to Prevent Acid Reflux Symptoms

In general, it is a good idea to eat until you are about 3/4ths full. Chew food thoroughly and eat smaller meals throughout the day, instead of two or three heavy meals. Focus on being present with your food. This will help you avoid over-eating.

I’d also recommend that you chew your food for at least twenty bites and do not lie down immediately after eating. Daily exercise (even just a nice brisk walk), can do wonders for digestion and circulation. With these simple changes, you can avoid acid reflux easily and without medications.

Taking a beet derived Betaine HCL supplement before meals can help aid digestion, and prevent most of the symptoms of acid reflux. However, before taking a supplement, change your diet and avoid the foods that cause acid reflux. You’ll be amazed at how much this will help put the fire out.

5 lifestyle changes that could help improve your rheumatoid arthritis symptoms

Reduce the pain that comes with RA

Many of us take actions like walking up steps or turning a doorknob for granted. But if you’re living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), these everyday movements can be very painful. An estimated 1.3 million Americans have been diagnosed with RA. Women are more than twice as likely as men to have the disorder, and it can affect anyone from childhood through adulthood.

RA is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s immune system attacks their own healthy tissue. While any organ can be affected, the hallmark symptoms include swollen, tender joints and fatigue. Often, RA will affect smaller joints—like the ones in your hands and feet, but any joint outside of the back can become involved. The arthritis is painful and destructive. Left unchecked, it can cause permanent joint damage. 

“It’s important for patients with this systemic disease to have close follow-up, because other organs such as eyes, skin and lungs can become involved,” said Geisinger rheumatologist David Pugliese, DO. “Even more complicating, the treatments used for RA can often effects the immune system and other organs, which also requires close monitoring.”

While RA can be painful and frustrating, medications and simple—even fun—lifestyle changes can make your symptoms more manageable.

  1. Embrace movement and exercise
    RA symptoms are generally at their worst when you’re not moving, such as first thing in the morning or after prolonged sitting. 
    “From the moment you wake up, look for opportunities to move. Whether it’s getting the mail or walking around your block, being active will help,” said Dr. Pugliese. “Although exercise can be challenging, any activity, even low-impact yoga, has been shown to help reduce stiffness and strengthen the muscles that support your joints.” 
    Just be sure to talk to your doctor before starting an exercise routine. Physical and occupational therapy referrals may prove helpful in creating safe, effective exercise programs that are tailored to your needs.
  2. Go for a dip
    As a complement to your movement and exercise, try water aerobics and swimming to decrease your RA symptoms. These strengthen your muscles, relieving stiffness, reducing stress and allowing you to have some fun. The extra buoyancy in the water will also take added stress off your joints. As a bonus, swimming benefits your heart.
    3.Watch your weight
    People with a healthy weight will typically have less inflammation and fewer pounds. That’s less stress on the joints. The Arthritis Foundation notes that for every pound you lose, you reduce the stress on your weight-bearing joints by 4 pounds.
    4.Make sleep a priority
    Quality sleep helps the body heal from the day’s activities.  
    “This, in turn, can help lessen your symptoms and reduce the fatigue you may experience,” Dr. Pugliese said. “There is also evidence that decreased sleep can independently correlate with increased pain levels. Aim for about 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night”
  3. 5.Take time to rest and relax
    Aside from the physical discomfort that comes with RA, it can also be stressful and disheartening. How can you feel better? Try some deep breathing exercises or meditation. Allow time to rest, recharge and destress. 
    “Remember, it’s OK to take time to care for yourself,” said Dr. Pugliese.

Connecting with others can lift your spirits when you’re living with a chronic condition such as RA. identify friends and family members who can act as your support system. You can also seek out a support group to talk with others who have similar conditions and who can lend not only support but possibly suggestions based on their experiences. 

“Rheumatoid arthritis can be a difficult disease with many complicated manifestations. Partnering with your doctors, creating a strong support network and embracing the healthy lifestyle can help lead to a happy, productive life with controlled arthritis,” said Dr. Pugliese.

Global fact sheet on HIV/AIDS

Key facts

  • HIV continues to be a major global public health issue, having claimed more than 35 million lives so far. In 2017, 940 000 people died from HIV-related causes globally.
  • There were approximately 36.9 million people living with HIV at the end of 2017 with 1.8 million people becoming newly infected in 2017 globally.
  • 59% of adults and 52% of children living with HIV were receiving lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART) in 2017.
  • Global ART coverage for pregnant and breastfeeding women living with HIV is high at 80%.
  • The WHO African Region is the most affected region, with 25.7 million people living with HIV in 2017. The African region also accounts for over two thirds of the global total of new HIV infections.
  • HIV infection is often diagnosed through rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs), which detect the presence or absence of HIV antibodies. Most often these tests provide same-day test results, which are essential for same day diagnosis and early treatment and care.
  • Key populations are groups who are at increased risk of HIV irrespective of epidemic type or local context. They include: men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, people in prisons and other closed settings, sex workers and their clients, and transgender people.
  • Key populations often have legal and social issues related to their behaviours that increase vulnerability to HIV and reduce access to testing and treatment programmes.
  • In 2017, an estimated 47% of new infections occurred among key populations and their partners.
  • There is no cure for HIV infection. However, effective antiretroviral (ARV) drugs can control the virus and help prevent transmission so that people with HIV, and those at substantial risk, can enjoy healthy, long and productive lives.
  • It is estimated that currently only 75% of people with HIV know their status. In 2017, 21.7 million people living with HIV were receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) globally.
  • Between 2000 and 2017, new HIV infections fell by 36%, and HIV-related deaths fell by 38% with 11.4 million lives saved due to ART in the same period. This achievement was the result of great efforts by national HIV programmes supported by civil society and a range of development partners.
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) targets the immune system and weakens people’s defence systems against infections and some types of cancer. As the virus destroys and impairs the function of immune cells, infected individuals gradually become immunodeficient. Immune function is typically measured by CD4 cell count.

Immunodeficiency results in increased susceptibility to a wide range of infections, cancers and other diseases that people with healthy immune systems can fight off.

The most advanced stage of HIV infection is Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), which can take from 2 to 15 years to develop depending on the individual. AIDS is defined by the development of certain cancers, infections, or other severe clinical manifestations.

Signs and symptoms

The symptoms of HIV vary depending on the stage of infection. Though people living with HIV tend to be most infectious in the first few months, many are unaware of their status until later stages. The first few weeks after initial infection, individuals may experience no symptoms or an influenza-like illness including fever, headache, rash, or sore throat.

As the infection progressively weakens the immune system, an individual can develop other signs and symptoms, such as swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, fever, diarrhoea and cough. Without treatment, they could also develop severe illnesses such as tuberculosis, cryptococcal meningitis, severe bacterial infections and cancers such as lymphomas and Kaposi’s sarcoma, among others.

Transmission

HIV can be transmitted via the exchange of a variety of body fluids from infected individuals, such as blood, breast milk, semen and vaginal secretions. Individuals cannot become infected through ordinary day-to-day contact such as kissing, hugging, shaking hands, or sharing personal objects, food or water.

Next Page

Cystic fibrosis – Diagnosis and treatment

Diagnosis

To diagnose cystic fibrosis, doctors may conduct several tests.

Newborn screening and diagnosis

Every state in the U.S. now routinely screens newborns for cystic fibrosis. Early diagnosis means treatment can begin immediately.

In one screening test, a blood sample is checked for higher than normal levels of a chemical (immunoreactive trypsinogen, or IRT) released by the pancreas. A newborn’s IRT levels may be high because of premature birth or a stressful delivery. For that reason other tests may be needed to confirm a diagnosis of cystic fibrosis.

Genetic tests may be used in addition to checking the IRT levels to confirm the diagnosis. Doctors may also conduct genetic tests to test for specific defects on the gene responsible for cystic fibrosis.

To evaluate if an infant has cystic fibrosis, doctors may also conduct a sweat test when the infant is at least 2 weeks old. In a sweat test, doctors apply a sweat-producing chemical to a small area of skin. They then collect the sweat to test it and see if it’s saltier than normal. Testing may be done at a center specializing in cystic fibrosis.

Testing of older children and adults

Cystic fibrosis tests may be recommended for older children and adults who weren’t screened at birth. Your doctor may suggest genetic and sweat tests for cystic fibrosis if you have recurring bouts of inflamed pancreas (pancreatitis), nasal polyps, chronic sinus or lung infections, bronchiectasis, or male infertility.

Treatment

There is no cure for cystic fibrosis, but treatment can ease symptoms and reduce complications. Close monitoring and early, aggressive intervention is recommended. Managing cystic fibrosis is complex, so consider obtaining treatment at a center staffed by doctors and other staff trained in cystic fibrosis. Doctors may work with a multidisciplinary team of doctors and medical professionals trained in cystic fibrosis to evaluate and treat your condition.

The goals of treatment include:

  • Preventing and controlling infections that occur in the lungs
  • Removing and loosening mucus from the lungs
  • Treating and preventing intestinal blockage
  • Providing adequate nutrition

Medications

The options may include:

  • Antibiotics to treat and prevent lung infections
  • Anti-inflammatory medications to lessen swelling in the airways in your lungs
  • Mucus-thinning drugs to help you cough up the mucus, which can improve lung function
  • Inhaled medications called bronchodilators that can help keep your airways open by relaxing the muscles around your bronchial tubes
  • Oral pancreatic enzymes to help your digestive tract absorb nutrients

Next Page

8 Things to Know About Graves’ Disease

Do you know these Graves’ disease facts?

Approximately 1 in 200 Americans has Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes the thyroid to pump out an excess of thyroid hormone. The thyroid is a small gland located at the base of your neck. When it’s working well, you’re probably not even aware of its existence. But when it goes into overdrive, you can experience disturbing symptoms, including a racing heart, difficulty sleeping, diarrhea, and an abundance of nervous energy.

1. Weight loss can be a symptom of Graves’ disease.

Graves’ disease symptoms include irregular heartbeat, heat sensitivity, shaky hands, muscle weakness, irritability, and bulging eyes. Unexpected weight loss can also be a symptom of Graves’ disease, as excess thyroid hormone speeds up the body’s metabolism. If you are losing weight without effort, see a healthcare provider. Your provider can perform a physical exam and run some tests to see if you have Graves’ disease or another medical condition.

2. Graves’ disease affects more women than men.

Graves’ disease is seven to eight times more common in women than men. The disease often affects women between the ages of 30 and 60. Women who have another autoimmune disorder (such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or type 1 diabetes) or a family history of Graves’ disease are at increased risk for Graves’ disease. A woman’s risk is also elevated after giving birth. The risk of developing Graves’ disease is seven times higher than usual during the year following a birth, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

3. Graves’ disease can cause pregnancy complications.

Untreated or under-treated Graves’ disease can cause preeclampsia (a potentially fatal condition characterized by high blood pressure), placental abruption (the untimely separation of the placenta from the wall of the uterus), miscarriage, stillbirth, or premature birth. It can also cause problems in the developing baby, including a rapid heart rate, low birth weight, and abnormal thyroid function. Adequate treatment of Graves’ disease can prevent these complications. If you have Graves’ disease, it’s a good idea to talk with your healthcare provider before trying to conceive.

4. Bulging eyes are a symptom of Graves’ ophthalmopathy.

Approximately 30 to 50% of people with Graves’ disease develop a condition called Graves’ ophthalmopathy. The primary symptom of Graves’ ophthalmopathy is bulging eyes caused by swelling of one or more of the six muscles that turn the eye. Other symptoms include eye irritation, double vision, light sensitivity, difficulty moving the eyes, and eye pressure or pain. Without treatment, Graves’ ophthalmopathy can cause severe eye discomfort and even vision loss, although this is rare. Your healthcare provider can recommend strategies to improve comfort and vision. In many people, the symptoms of Graves’ ophthalmopathy improve with time.

Next Page

%d bloggers like this: